‘We have already invested around crore in this business’
What was the premise of developing the mini ATM?
This device is actually an improvement over our previous device; it has an antenna that can take care of poor coverage inside a building. It also has a battery back-up so the dependency on electricity is no more an issue. It was built to address the need of the retailer; standard POS terminals for accepting credit cards and making payments through a gateway to the bank. It’s a business device rather than a payment device.
What are the charges involved in availing these services?
When you do a top-up we will not charge you anything extra but there are certain services where the customer will pay for convenience, ie, booking air tickets and rail tickets. In our system we have all the payments which are well defined. With the passage of time, I believe the customer shouldn’t be paying anything at all because of high market competition. We might be charging a little more because we are providing these services close to the customer’s home, which will save his time. The customer should not have any problem in paying these extra charge, which will be decided by the bank itself.
What kind of distribution strategy are you opting for?
We have realized that to install a machine you need to appoint a retailer, where some selling is required. This is known as selling through intermediaries, which we call RMUs (Retail Management Units). Every RMU is given an area and that area will be identified with the help of his own staff. Our people will be there to help but the main work needs to be done by the RMUs. Now that we want to expand our coverage to small towns and villages we have to do it fast.
In the last few years we have installed around 50,000 terminals and we have 100,000 total retails, some of our retailers have web connectivity, some are given access on mobile phones itself. But because we want to promote banking services—cash in and cash out —therefore the terminal is very important. Now we want to increase the terminal to 500,000 in the next 5 years and we need trained man power not only to sell the idea to retailers but also to install the machine.
The manpower in every area should be able talk to the people and convince them to use the machine for their own benefit.
How much investment have you made in this project?
We have already invested around 200 crore in this business and we plan to put an additional 300 crore over the next 3 to 5 years but what it promotes is 25,000 crore worth of business. When we say that we are providing this channel as a business machine to the retailer it means that we can go on adding more and more business and help the retailer to generate more business.